CHRISTIANS NEED A PARADIGM SHIFT
“…These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;” Acts 17:6
“…be not conformed to this world: be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Rom 12:2
Some time ago I was meditating Psalms 119:89, “Forever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.” And as I continually repeated this Scripture silently to myself, I received a revelation of the Heart of God. From somewhere deep within my soul came the following words to my ‘never very lighting-fast’ mind. “Yeah, and I’m waiting on you to settle it on earth!” Wow!
Friends, I can’t do anything about the entire planet, but I can settle some things where my feet are located on this sphere. Far too many who name the Name of Jesus Christ as Savior, are living below the example of the excellence He has set for us. Christian, to change our world we first have to change ourselves. We need a paradigm shift!
Again, ‘paradigm’ is defined: A set of concepts, assumptions, values, and practices that reveal our view of reality. Said another way; the popular way of thinking that produces actions based on that thinking. For example; profanity is popular in our society today. When I was growing up, oh there were people who took the Lord’s Name in vain, but it was the exception rather than the rule. Just notice those conversations around you on any given day, it’s blank this or God blank the other. The cursing you hear is today’s paradigm – the popular way of thinking that produces actions – or in this case, the words of profanity. And I could talk about perversion, rebellion to authority, or any number of paradigm shifts away from what is Godly to what is devilish.
But please notice from our Acts passage that there was a group of folks in that first century church who “turned” their world “upside down.” Meaning they literally disturbed, upset, caused to drive out from home (comfort zone). Christian, what are you doing to turn your part of the world upside down? The Romans quote offers instruction…
1 – Demand to change our paradigm: “Be not conformed to this world…” Refuse to allow yourself to be fashioned according to the council of this age with its whims and ways. Don’t be so well-adjusted to this culture that you fit into it without thinking. Christian, what you do without thinking is your paradigm. If you have problems with uncontrolled anger, you know when you are going down the pathway to another explosion; but you don’t stop because that’s your paradigm. If a certain person you have bitterness and resentment against enters the same restaurant you’re in; you won’t look at them. You are acting out of your hurt and that’s your paradigm. Or consider the temptation you stumble over continually. That’s the sin of your lust-of-the-flesh paradigm. So, we must change.
2 – Degree of paradigm change: “…but be ye transformed…” Transformed means a drastic change. Often, we humans are not honest with ourselves. We pray, “Change me Lord,” but we don’t allow Him total access. Like “Lord, deliver me from gluttony, but let me keep on eating.” To change our world, we must first undergo a deep inner change!
3 – The Doing of our paradigm change: “…by the renewing of your mind…” Literally meaning a total renovation or a change of quality (to the image of Christ). When our church moved into an old dance hall to begin services, it needed total renovation. There were walls to be torn down, and others built. We had to scrub, sand, paint, and polish. The rats, roaches, and scorpions had to go. Many come to Jesus with dance hall thinking; needing renovation. We must tear down some mental walls and get rid of the pests of past emotional scars/hurts. To renovate our personal paradigm requires we change our thinking about God’s Word. Christian – don’t miss this – “settle” the Word in your part of planet earth. Then you’ll find your world will be “turned upside down.”